Starting in 1989 I have never had an investor give me money towards Bon Jour Matchmaking. I have never taken out a loan. For 32 years it’s been all my own emotional and monetary investment in this service.
That’s why people love Bon Jour! The intense personalized commitment and interaction with clients has been the key to my success for such a long time.
As the “oldest” Denver matchmaker (possibly the oldest in the country) I know what I’m doing, how to do it properly and do not need to lie about anything to impress potential clients. Both the length of time in business as well as the hundreds of successful marriages define my Denver matchmaking service!
You would be hard pressed to find another Denver matchmaker or Denver dating service with this track record. So if you’re serious, I’m serious…
Class action lawsuit claims It’s Just Lunch defrauded customers
By: Jennifer KovaleskiPosted at 6:00 PM, Feb 15, 2021 and last updated 10:51 PM, Feb 15, 2021
DENVER — Elizabeth Young first saw ads for It’s Just Lunch in airplane magazines.
After not having luck with other online dating apps, Young, a 41-year-old school counselor, said she decided to write a check to It’s Just Lunch Denver. It cost Young $2,700 for a lifetime membership and then a fee of roughly $90 per month.
The dating service sells itself as an elite international matching service that has offices across the country, including in Denver.
“What they say is ‘It’s Just Lunch is the world’s No. 1 personal matchmaking service. It’s personal, it’s private, it’s convenient, it’s real.’ They just forgot it’s a scam,” said Young, while reading the company’s website.
She saw the purchase as a major investment with the promise of handpicked dates. Young said the salesperson told her over the phone that she would have a few dates per month.
Young said she was told, “We have so many great men I can’t wait for you to meet.”
“I had this expectation and this excitement of meeting quality people who also invested what I did,” she said.
Young is one of two It’s Just Lunch customers who spoke with Denver7, saying the company did not meet expectations. They’re not alone, as the company has already settled one class action lawsuit and faces another.
Class action lawsuit filed against the company
John Balestriere is a New York-based attorney who filed a class-action lawsuit against It’s Just Lunch and won. He said Young’s story matches what his firm has heard from other clients.
“A common trick they were taught was to be speaking to someone and at some point just turn over the clipboard and say, ‘I’m sorry, I just have to stop you. I have three people who would be just perfect for you.’ The idea of kind of luring people in,” Balestriere said.
As a part of the lawsuit and settlement agreement, It’s Just Lunch agreed to pay nearly $5 million to impacted clients. The average customer received around $14. The law firm was also paid a fee of $1.5 million.
“People who are signing up are busy and they have disposable income. They are very vulnerable,” Balestriere said.
The lawsuit called the dating service “a massive scheme to defraud tens of thousands of single professionals throughout the country.” It claimed the company, “overcharged its clients” and “matches are driven entirely by monthly quota requirements.”
Balestriere said the most shocking thing his firm found was that in some cases, It’s Just Lunch employees went on dates with female customers so that they “could at least have a date with a man.”
He said the company trains its employees to make the sale, and the lawsuit states the company “[r]outinely hires staff … who have no experience … whatsoever in the field of matchmaking.”
The suit resulted in a settlement in late 2019.
“We frankly thought that was the end of it,” Balestriere said.
But it would end up being far from the end.
“This is the worst financial decision I’ve ever made,” Young said.
Young was not a part of the settlement agreement. She said instead of getting the few dates per month the company verbally promised, she had four dates over three months.
“So, mathematically, that’s $3,000 for four dates,” she said.
And while Young does acknowledge the contract she signed only promised her one date per month, she said she believed what It’s Just Lunch was selling.
“I believe that the company really preys on people who — like me, in the Denver area, especially during a pandemic — really want connection,” Young said.
Another Denver client tells a similar story
Joseph DeOliveira said he had a similar experience with the company. He was a single father also looking for love who said he fell for It’s Just Lunch’s sales pitch.
“It was basically a waste of money and waste of time,” DeOliveira said. “They told me that I was going to have multiple matches a month and that I was going to find people that were committed to a relationship.”
Instead, DeOliveira said he received “one or two dates for the thousands of dollars that I put in and it wasn’t consistent.”
He said his matches weren’t matches at all, and the women he went out with had nothing in common with him.
“There were so many good reviews, I thought it was a good company,” DeOliveira said.
Young said she also believed those reviews and everything else she read.
Both now question the accuracy of those good reviews and want to warn others trying to find love.
“They are going to continue to scam people until they are brought to light,” DeOliveira said.
Law firm files another lawsuit against the company
After Balestriere’s firm settled in the original class-action lawsuit, the firm said new It’s Just Lunch clients started reaching out to them with the same complaints.
“It’s Just Lunch is continuing to engage in very similar sounding misconduct,” Balestriere said.
The suit claims It’s Just Lunch “continues to engage in similar misconduct” the original suit was supposed to stop.
“I’ve been a lawyer and doing this stuff for over 20 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it,” Balestriere said.
“They took advantage of people wanting a real relationship,” said DeOliveira.
DeOliveira confirmed to Denver7 he did reach out to the company but said in an email, “My only purpose was to inquire and confirm the facts I gave you in the interview and to express my displeasure with the service I was provided and to give them a chance to make it right.”
He went on to say, “I stand by what I said 100% that I believe IJL is a scam and I will not retract that statement unless I am proven wrong by their actions.”
It’s Just Lunch responds
It’s Just Lunch Denver declined Denver7’s request for an interview.
Please read through this site to some extent before calling. Thanks! When Considering Denver Matchmaking Services Be Sure to Ask This… Are you currently involved or married but things are not going well? I am offering FREE advice if you need to speak with someone. That does not obligate you in any way either financially […]
I am starting a division for clients who are curvy (for women) and bulky/stocky (for men). I am starting with the men in that it’s much easier to get women in this category.
I believe this will be the first service in Denver to offer this division in Denver matchmaking.
So my women would start at size 10 up to 18 or women any size who like bulky men. Conversely I am looking right now for men who like curvy women and who are bulky or just prefer more to love in their women.
THIS is the time to contact me as my fee is low to build the base in this division. That will change at some point when I feel I have enough clients in this category.
I am regularly contacted by local Denver dating services that don’t have enough clients to set their people up with whether I have people who they can match with their clients. They don’t ask me any info or share anything of substance about their clients. Yet they are charging YOU thousands of dollars to be set up with people from other services in town that your “matchmaker” knows nothing about! In Bon Jour Matchmaking you are paying for me to have met face-to-face with each and every client (not by Zoom), to have a comprehensive written profile for you to view on each as well as several pictures of each client.
So, be sure to ask whether your matches are from that specific service you are paying for or are they getting people from other services that they have never even met or interviewed! IF they say they are getting clients to match through other services…BE SURE to ask, “have you met with that person and interviewed them?” “Do you have information on them for me to view?” There are several services contacting each other to find clients for people who have paid them all this money and are getting matched with people that service knows nothing about! Can you believe that????? But they don’t care, they are doing the bare minimal just to meet your contract and then try to resign you…
Most other Denver matchmakers accumulate singles into what they refer to as their “data base”. They may not even charge to do that if they feel that assisting you is a long shot. It’s more to be able to tell prospective paying clients how many people they represent (but they leave out that many of those haven’t made a financial commitment).
These services do not have enough clients so they use this to prop up their meager clientele. I guess it’s worth doing if there is no charge. They generally do not do an extensive interview on you or the others, don’t present you with a profile or pictures…and really isn’t that what you are there for? To find out more about these individuals in depth unlike the apps and dating sites?
Also, when judging whether to join a service, ask, what’s different about your service that I can’t get from any other? There is a new service in Denver whose website is exactly the same as all the others except has no info…age range, fee structure, how she actually matchmakes. There is no phone number to call, no email address…you have to fill out her forms to get a response from her.
What’s the point of being in services that basically “house” singles to advance their own agenda which, again, is to be able to tell paying prospects how many clients they represent?
Be discriminating with these…your time, your emotions and your future are worth more than this…
I’d say first keep in mind how long the company has been in business. If it’s 5 years or less there shouldn’t be lots of negative reviews. If it’s 20+ or 30+ years you have to realize how many people they have worked with and even just by percentages there are going to be people who are unhappy for whatever reason.
Also Yelp, in particular, hides many, many, many 5 star reviews if you don’t buy their services…
Consider the source (the reviewer) when reading those negative reviews. Are they vicious, taking shots at things that have nothing to do with service but just to be petty? Does their review sound like it came from someone who is immature based on what they focus on and/or how it’s written?
Did the company respond to the review? Be sure to read that and see which version makes more sense. Businesses like Bon Jour Matchmaking Service who have worked with hundreds or thousands of people over 32 years are going to have those who have a gripe about something…as well as the happy or very happy clients. It’s just numbers…
Certainly matchmaking services often have a high number of negative reviews if they’ve been in business for awhile in that you’re working so personally with people. Some people feel that it’s a good service if they’ve met quality people and received good feedback and coaching, even if they haven’t met “the one”. Others are unhappy unless they meet “the one” and get married. So consider that as well.
I hope this post will be helpful for you whatever business you are checking out.
Every week I receive calls from singles who have used or spoken to other local Denver matchmaking services. What shocks me every time is the few questions these people ask the other services. Maybe because I conduct at least a 1 hour preliminary phone consultation they think of more questions to ask me…I don’t know. But these are the types of questions you should ask when looking for a Denver matchmaker.
Does the person who will be matchmaking me know ALL of the clients?
How long have you been in business?
How many marriages have you had?
Are you matching me with YOUR clientele or with other local matchmakers? Have you interviewed and met those clients if they are not yours?
Have they interviewed and met with every client?
What are the different contract lengths?
Do I get to view a profile of each client?
Are there pictures of each client that I view?
Who makes the decision on who I meet…the matchmaker and/or me?
Do you vett the people I will be meeting or just grab singles where you can find them to match with me?
Do you do a background check?
Do you share the background check with me…even generally?
Is this truly a matchmaking service or a dating service?
IF it’s matchmaking why am I buying a “package of dates”?
Is there coaching to help me succeed with my matches?
So I will answer all those questions for you in Bon Jour Matchmaking Service:
I meet with each client in-person and interview every client.
I have been in business for 32 years.
I have had more than 300 marriages during that time.
I NEVER call other local services to use their clientele who I’ve never met. You are ONLY matched with MY clientele.
There are no packages of anything, this is matchmaking. You may meet as many or few people as you are interested in who feel the same. But my goal is to hit the perfect match with the first or second introduction. There is as much coaching as you need to help you succeed. What’s the point of introducing you to people and then having you make the same mistakes you’ve always made?
First of all, remember I’ve been matchmaking for 31+ years so I have a lot of history to draw from. When I share info about singles who call me and either become clients or not I am referring strictly to MY clientele NOT the whole world.
Over these many years I have gotten calls from men 55+ who are dead set on only meeting women 35-45 or so. Of course it varies depending on the person but usually 15-20 years younger. I choose not to work with those men in that my clients in that age range are only interested in age appropriate men. Not a judgment call on my part merely the facts about my female clients. That scenario has been going on for years.
BUT in the past about 3 years I have been getting calls from women 55+ who say they’ve been dating men 10 and 15 years younger since they look so youthful themselves and are so energetic. Well, the same goes for them. My men who are that much younger are not interested in women 10-15 years older. So I decline to work with them as well.
This is a fairly new phenomenon recently with the women. I don’t know when there was that switch but I can’t help women in that mindset any more than I can help men. My feeling is the reason they are coming to me (both sexes) is that dating people so much younger obviously isn’t working out…so why would you come in here and do the same thing that isn’t working?